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Cycling and Living With Pain

When I was 17, I discovered that I had chronic joint pain. After 10000 visits and 12000 tests, the doctor said it's Fibromyalgia. It's a fancy way of saying that they can't identify what's wrong and more importantly, there is no cure.

So I lived with the pain. And at the tender age of 31, I learned to ride a bicycle. And this was the start of something amazing. This is a sport that revels in pain. Here, pain is the path to glory. And pretty soon, I started to love the pain.

I loved the sore muscles that meant that I had worked real hard in the weekend ride. I loved how alive I felt at the end of a particularly gruelling workout. In fact, in the end, I started looking forward to the cramps which would tell me that I had pushed harder than ever.

Then I had a knee injury.

And in the last two days, I have come to realise how much pain I endure everyday. My knees feel like they are constantly on fire. But I can still walk like it's fine. Today, there were 5 minutes tha…
Recent posts

How TeamBDC Training Changed My Cycling

After the morning training ride, the 2nd last ride of this training season, I felt like analyzing if there has been any improvement in my performance. And thanks to Endomondo I can analyze that in details.

First things first, say hello to the group of people who left the comfort of their beds in the morning to put some sweat onto the asphalts.
Before we look at the stats from today, let us look at a training from March 2013, exactly a year ago. That was at the end of our first training season. And this is what the ride was like.
 It was a 70 Minutes Steady training in the flat area of Hatirjheel, the speedbreakers were not there yet. We covered 34km in 80 Minutes including the warmup and cooldown. These are the best distances from that ride.

Enter 2014, and the situation is completely changed. Today's ride was over the bridges, there are now multiple speedbreakers in Hatirjheel, traffic has gone up as well. And with all of that we managed to cover more 4 kilometers more in almost …

Live to Ride 500 Meters

Why do I train?

For the last 500 meters.

Not for riding with the group, not for drafting with the team, not for travelling through fast bending curves, but for that last 500 meters of a training ride, where we sprint.

That 500 meters take 40 seconds to cross but it is a lifetime. You remember pedalling into the right drafting position, catching up with the lead group as they are trying to breakaway before a sprint, you remember the texture of the road, the angle of the wind and everything around you.

Then you shift, the cogs switch into place as you put your foot down and then it happens.

The world ceases to exist. It is only you, the bike, the road and the shadows chasing after you. Time slows down, you can hear your heartbeat, feel the slightest bumps on the road, and feel the hint of chase. Your cadence reach 100RPM, the speedometer shows some figure that starts with a 5, but you have no time to look.

You feel someone coming from behind, and suddenly where you had no energy left, …

Defensive Cycling: Staying Safe on the Streets

In a city like Dhaka, staying safe on the streets while cycling is a lot tougher than anywhere else. It feels like a warzone of traffic and pedestrians and potholes where every element is designed to trip you, break you or even kill you. Whether you are a pedestrian or a cyclist, you are always in the crosshair of some driver's assistant who has been given the steering wheel because he can differentiate between a cow and a goat.

How do you stay alive then? Staying visible, signalling oncoming traffic, staying on the side lanes all help, but still is not enough. What you need to practice is defensive cycling. And here is how that goes

Complete all the basics of safe cycling, wear a helmet, use tail-lights and head lights, stay highly visible, use a horn, a bell or your voice to the full extent to ensure that others know that you existAssume everyone on the roads are trying to harm you. No, they are not oblivious to you. They know that you exist and is constantly trying to run you o…

Winter Cycling in Dhaka: Things to Watch Out For

Winter is the perfect time to take up cycling in Dhaka. The temperatures don't drop too much and there is always a cool breeze. As a result, sweating goes down and you can pedal a lot more whether you are a casual rider or a serious one. Still there are a few things to watch out for. Early morning temperatures will drop more than 10 degrees from the average temperature of the day. With wind, it can feel like less than 10 degrees. To avoid feeling like a cold popsicle, wear a base layer of clothing under your cycling jersey. Since the weather is not very extreme, a simple synthetic T-shirt will suffice. Synthetic is the keyword as it must not absorb and retain sweat but rather should let it vaporize.Take a camera along, the ray of the sun through morning mists create absolutely astonishing photo moments. A photographer can turn these moments to works of art. Even a non-photographer like me can turn out some decent ones with a mobile phone
Drink lots of water. Winters are seriously d…

Team BDC Training: What does it feel like to be a part of one?

Among all the cycling enthusiasts of BDCyclists, there are some competitive racing enthusiasts as well. Combining them in one place, a group called Team BDC was created last year. Our aim was to make it our professional racing team. But thanks to the professional demands of the university professor, photographer, software developer, students, managers, executives, who make up the team, our efforts have been limited to morning training sessions 5 days a week and local racing events.
One question always come to us from other members. How can they be a part of it? What is it like? This is your chance to find out. Let me take you through what happened in the morning training today.
4:50AM - Woke up suddenly, realized that the alarm has not gone off yet, went back to sleep5:15AM - Alarm goes off and I am up and running to get ready. Refill the water bottles, take all the necessary gear, check tire pressures and I am ready to be off5:45AM: Realize that it has been raining and the roads are …

Commuting on a Bicycle on Rainy Days

Forget it!

Well, there are solutions, but you have to prepare a little harder for it. But if you are thinking that riding a cycle is going to be the same as winter then forget it. If you are willing to work a little then read on.

1. Get proper mudguards. Not the toys available in the stores of Dhaka. The best ones are the ones that you see in Hero Ranger Max bikes which cover the wheels from a very close range. Something similar to this will be properly useful. Otherwise they are not much of help http://www.xxcycle.com/mudguards-zefal-paragon-26-black-60-mm,,en.php?FROM=froogle&wwp=44
2. No mudguards? Then take two sets of clothes. Also get a bag cover. That way you'll be all covered in mud by the time you get to office, but can change into something decent when you get there. But this requires your office to have a shower
3. This is the most practical solution at the moment. Get a pair of mudguards, whatever is available locally. Mount them as close to the tires as possible.…